What Can You Do with a GIS Degree?

Mapping Your Success: The Value of a GIS Degree in Today’s World

Geographic Information Systems (GIS) are a game-changer in data analysis, providing an innovative and indispensable tool across industries. Offering a comprehensive approach to creating, managing, analyzing, and mapping geospatial information, this platform enables individuals to easily discern complex patterns and relationships.

Whether it’s urban planning or natural resource management, GIS has become the go-to tool for resolving complex issues, and researchers and practitioners alike can benefit from its unique and powerful approach to understanding our world. So, are you wondering where a degree in this dynamic and in-demand field can take you?

The answer is wherever you want.

Exploring GIS

GIS technology unlocks a powerful understanding of the world around us. With GIS, users gain a deep insight into patterns, relationships, and geospatial context that can transform the way we communicate, work, and make decisions. By combining geographic science with collaborative tools, GIS empowers teams to foster a shared understanding that enables insights across a broad range of industries and applications. From environmental monitoring to public health, urban planning to business intelligence, GIS is a critical tool that drives success and innovation.

Career Opportunities with a GIS Degree

In our increasingly interconnected world, location intelligence has become a critical factor in decision-making for organizations. That’s why GIS professionals with a knack for data visualization and spatial analysis are now highly coveted across diverse fields. Their ability to leverage location data to drive business outcomes positions them for lucrative and exciting opportunities in today’s fast-paced economy.

GIS Analysts

  • Create digital presentations of spatial and geographical information to build databases of information and digital maps.
  • The median annual wage was $78,167 in 2023.
  • Employment is projected to show little or no change by 2032.

GIS Technicians

  • Analyze and visualize data from remote sensing devices, cartographic and global positioning system maps, and other sources by creating data layers, maps, graphs, and reports.
  • The median annual wage was $61,439 in 2023.
  • Employment is projected to grow 3 percent by 2032.

GIS Developer

  • Develops mapping applications, designs geoprocessing tools, and creates GIS programming applications according to the objectives and needs of their employers.
  • The median annual wage was $87,827 in 2023.
  • Employment is projected to grow 5 percent by 2032.

GIS Manager

  • Supervise teams of IT experts producing geographic data using computer systems.
  • The median annual wage was $99,741 in 2023.
  • Employment is projected to grow 9 percent by 2028.

Skills Needed in GIS Careers

Solving spatial problems is a challenging task that requires a unique set of skills. To succeed in this field, you’ll need to have a combination of creative thinking and technical expertise — meaning it’s time to master an array of essential platforms, tools, and methods, including:

  • data collection and evaluation,
  • visualization,
  • analysis,
  • modeling,
  • geospatial intelligence,
  • remote sensing,
  • photogrammetry,
  • Structured Query Language (SQL),
  • and Python.

As a GIS practitioner, you’ll be responsible for compiling accurate information, creating detailed maps, and performing in-depth analyses. With your mastery of data processing and cartographic design, you can offer fresh perspectives on the physical processes and social interactions on the earth’s surface.

GIS Master’s Degree Programs

Are you looking to break into the exciting world of GIS? Look no further than the flexible and fully online Master of Science in Geographic Information Systems at UC Online. Armed with the latest tools and knowledge upon graduation, you’ll be well-equipped to solve complex geographic problems across a wide range of applications, including:

  • land-use planning,
  • climate,
  • environment,
  • business,
  • finance,
  • architecture,
  • design,
  • community,
  • urban development,
  • and public safety.

Here, you’ll have access to a range of courses in Hydrology, Remote Sensing, Crime Mapping, Analytical Cartography, and more. Better yet, as a student, you’ll get to work with ArcGIS — one of the most powerful and widely-used GIS applications in the industry — where you’ll not only gain expertise with the tool but also develop a portfolio of impressive projects that’ll help you stand out from the crowd.

“My master’s gave me a distinct advantage. A lot of people in Ohio have been doing GIS for years and they’re better at it than I am, but I had the MS and GISP behind my name, which got — and still gets — a lot of attention. So, I really recommend it. Not only the master’s program but the GISP certification as well. I’ve been heavily recruited since earning them.”

— Kelly Wright, MS, GISP: GIS Analyst in the City of Monroe, Ohio

The UC Online Difference

At UC Online, our top priority is your success — in your academic pursuits, professional aspirations, and future endeavors. It’s why our MS in Geographic Information Systems is designed to cater to your needs, with a flexible schedule that enables you to complete coursework at your convenience, without having to attend any class sessions.

Our faculty members are experts in the field and are equipped with cutting-edge technology to provide you with the personalized support and guidance you need to achieve your goals. With UC Online, you can be sure you’re getting the resources and assistance you need to succeed.

So — are you ready to learn more? Explore our online GIS program or take your first step in becoming part of this dynamic and in-demand field by speaking to an Enrollment Services Advisor today.

*Salary data sourced through bls.gov

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